Cloth and clay 2024
Moira’s vessels are strongly influenced by a sense of place. Her natural, organic forms display the marks and traces of the soft Essex tidal coast and saltmarshes that surround her studio. Her daily walks with her dog along the beach, where sand and stones, plants and birds, water and sky perform a complex dance to tidal rhythms, both refresh and influence her creative process.
In her work she is always seeking to capture this ever-changing landscape by exploring textures, colours, organic patterns and forms, especially that which comes from the natural weathering process.
Moira applies an intuitive and abstract approach to her work, hand building her vessels using a number of handbuilding techniques. Finding a balance in the form between the man-made and the organic is always foremost in her mind.
Her work is built slowly and surely with each flattened coil, and then scraped and beaten to shape, much as the tide shapes the coastline.
Moira uses very smooth stoneware clay, which is necessary to achieve her wonderfully smooth, tactile surfaces. After applying layers of slips in soft, muted colours reminiscent of the landscape, she carefully burnishes the surface with semi-precious stones left to her by her grandmother. The burnishing compacts the clay and rearranges the structure of the surface so that the light reflects a smooth satin sheen.
After an initial bisque firing, the pots receive a second firing in sawdust. Moira has been exploring the ancient technique of smoke firing since her college days and has developed her own processes that makes her work unique. Using clay as a mask the vessels are fired slowly in sawdust over a period of 8-24 hours.
The depth of firing, from light to dark, sets the tone of each piece, while the refinement and masking of the surface enables her to bring out or moderate the fired patterns.
After cleaning, the final design is revealed. Each piece is a discovery as much as a creation and represents a balance between the random, spontaneous element of the smoke firing and her intended design.
Each is as individual as a stone on a beach, an entity that is always part of a larger whole, but which carries and communicates to others the spirit of place that inspires her work.
Moira is a selected member of the Suffolk Craft Society and Craft Potters Association.
Click images for details and if you are interested in any of Moira Goodall's work please enquire below.